The Last 60 Days – Central and West
October and November 2016 were warm and dry months across the central and western areas of the USA. However, since then the pattern has been a very wet one for some and continued dry for others.
It has been tough winter with cold and deep snows for many in the Northern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest. It has been hard on livestock and hard on wildlife in many western and northwestern states. While the snow pack conditions are at a record pace, for some it has been too much of a good thing in regards to all the precipitation in December and January (just ask the folks in Boise, ID).
The chart below shows precipitation across the central and western states since early December. Notice the purple areas in the far west across the Sierras of California and some of the Cascade Ranges of Washing and Oregon. Over 40 inches of precipitation has fallen since early December in those areas along with dozens of feet of snow in the highest mountains.
Elsewhere, precipitation has been impressive across the Central and Northern Rockies as well as the Northern Plains. However, there are some dry areas that will to be watched as we head into the spring season. Areas of eastern Colorado, western Kansas and southwest Nebraska have missed out on some of the bigger storms this year.
Areas just east of the Rockies have been in a rain/snow shadow for the last 60 days while the heavier precipitation has fallen along and west of the Continental Divide.